VF Day 19-20: Need Camino Magic?

Jun 21, 2022 | All Blog Posts, Via Francigena | 0 comments

As we continue to meander through the Po Valley, I am constantly surprised by what the famous Camino magic brings our way.

Camino magic is a term we learned on our first pilgrimage. I don’t remember where specifically but probably on Dan Mullins Camino podcast. If you’ve never heard of it, you are missing out! Dan is an outstanding interviewer and the stories about the Camino are magical in and of themselves.

I believe in the power of Camino Magic. Whenever I doubt the magic will happen, it does, just like that. Oh my, has my doubt appeared more than once during this hot, flat, repetitive section of our pilgrimage.

Camino magic came when a bar appeared during a hot afternoon when I was out of water and starving. That happens more often than not.

Camino magic came when I was struggling with everyone speaking other languages around us for days. I was feeling extremely low, we walked up to a bar, and I heard a table full of people speaking English.

Camino magic came when we had been visiting a lot of churches but there were never people in any of them. Then we entered a church where music was playing, people were singing, and there was life all around me.

Camino magic came after we passed through multiple deserted villages when we walked into a village that wasn’t only filled people but it was market day!

Camino magic came again yesterday. We’ve seen very few pilgrims at all thus far. After 20 days of walking we haven’t shared a meal with any English speaking pilgrims. Yesterday, we stayed at the local church and there were 4 other pilgrims. We shared rooms, shared a drink before dinner, enjoyed a fabulous meal together, and there was plenty of great conversation I could understand. It was just the magic we needed.

Last night with our 4 new pilgrim friends

Finally, tonight we are staying in Cort Sant’Andrea, population 22. There is a restaurant in town so we skipped lunch to arrive early and beat the heat. Bad decision, the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays (today). This is where the key to the church hostel was located so we were quite surprised it would be closed today. We found a back door to the restaurant and when we walked in people were laughing and eating. I smiled so big because up until that point we had barely eaten. Unfortunately, the woman running the kitchen told us she was done serving food. I gently begged, “maybe just a panini?” She looked at my pathetic face and then her husband. They exchanged looks and she brought us both a sandwich. When he offered us water and a beer, we joyfully said yes! Finally, he offered us a little dessert. Life was ok again. Mind you, the others in the restaurant were being offered fresh fruit, coffee with liquor, and more. They must have been locals or family, with a population of 22 that is probably one in the same. I didn’t care, much, we were fed and spent €16.

The dinner we made tonight with the ingredients left for us by Giovanni who runs the hospice. We made spaghetti with fresh zucchini & garlic sautéed on the side

Camino magic isn’t about getting what you want, rather it’s about getting what you need. We’ve never gone to bed hungry, we’ve always had a bed to sleep in, we’ve experienced the kindness of strangers, and we hope to have a few lasting friendships before this experience is over.

Camino magic is ultimately experiencing faith. Faith in others, faith in yourself, faith that someone is watching out for you and guiding your way. In this case, it’s our way to Rome and I have faith we will arrive there well taken care of and with a bit more faith.

We got a little crazy in our video to Pavia. Hint: There’s a lot of singing going on! 🤦🏻‍♀️ Check out our video here!

Here’s our video from the days listed below.

Walking stats from Pavia to Santa Cristina e Bissone – 14 km

  • Lodging – Parrocchhia di Santa Cristina e Bissone – donation

Walking stats from Santa Cristina e Bissone to Corte Sant’Andrea – 23 km

  • Lodging – Hospice Ad Padum including a kitchen with what we needed to make dinner – donation

*Listing our accommodation is not an endorsement. This is just a point of information for fellow pilgrims. See our reviews on Booking.com, the guidebooks, and fellow pilgrims for more details to make the decision best for you.


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